Beyoncé discusses new album, reveals how she kept release a secret

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Beyoncé continued the atypical publicity campaign behind her recordshattering, game-redefining self-titled visual album with an appearance at NYC’s School of Visual Arts on Saturday. Following a screening of the albumshe responded to fans who posted Instagram video questions with an #AskBeyonce hashtag.

Queen Bey began by addressing the crowd about what the album meant to her. “I took all of my insecurities, all of my doubts, all of my fears, and everything I’ve learned over the 17 years, and I applied it to this project,” she said, her voice shaking with emotion. “But more than the music, I’m proud of myself as a woman for taking the risks. And the biggest message is owning your imperfections and all the things that make you interesting, because I refuse to allow someone to put me in anybody’s box.”

Discussing the challenges of keeping the album a secret, she mentioned how she would wear an earbud pipping her the song when she filmed the videos in public spaces. She explained how her trying to lip-synch to static-y audio while onlookers screamed her name made her “look completely out of [her] mind” while walking through Coney Island during the “XO” shoot. The struggles were worth it, however, to circumnavigate the hype-machine. “We went through a lot of things to keep it sacred and to keep the surprise, because it’s something missing and it’s such a joy and it’s something that I was able to experience growing up.”

She also laid praise on her team of “underdogs” and “women” for helping her break the rules and own the project herself. “I felt like I wanted follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire,” she said “And show other women when you get to this point in your career, you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success, you can do it yourself.”

Beyoncé wasn’t only brave in her approach, but in sharing more intimate, adult details for the first time. As for why she felt she could open up about her sexuality more, the answer was surprising: her daughter, Blue Ivy. “I’m private, I’m very respectful. I think it just took me no longer being someone’s child. Once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear down those fourth walls. I completely feel liberated, and I felt like I could no longer create my art for other people, so I just felt like it was time.”

With all of this breaking down new barriers both personally and professionally, it was really no surprise that she admitted being nervous about the album’s release. “I was so scared and I’d already envisioned like, the worst things that could happen. I’m like, ‘People gonna hate it! Why didn’t I say anything?!'” At this point, the crowd released a chorus of “No”s, seeming to express that no one would ever hate a Beyoncé album, but the singer quieted the support. “No, I mean, it’s just things that we all go through. It’s just human. I was just really nervous, because this was a huge risk.”

Practically choking on emotion the entire time, she also discussed what she was doing when Beyoncé dropped, who ‘Yonce really is, and her ultimate goals for the new album. Check out video of the entire Q&A below thanks to (Side-note: I went to college with this guy. Crazy small world.)


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